Saturday, March 26, 2005

Google misuses search for promoting Deskbar

Google wants you to use their deskbar. However their toolbar is way more popular. So what do they do? They manipulate search results for "google toolbar" to return the #1 link to point to Deskbar, http://deskbar.google.com/. The first result says:

Google Toolbar
... Pop-up blocker requires Internet Explorer 5.5+ More Information Automatic updates - no need to install upgrades. Learn more about the Google Toolbar. ...
deskbar.google.com/?promo=gdl-db-en - 8k - Cached - Similar pages

Trusting google, you click on something that says "Google Toolbar" and guess what, they got you pretty close to trying out their Deskbar. Furthermore, since AdSense is their baby, of course, the sponsored link/ad points to the toolbar:

Free Google Toolbar
toolbar.google.com Block popups and search the web instantly. Downloads in seconds.

Link structure is a pretty good heuristic, and I dont think many people are linking to the deskbar page and calling it toolbar. I would be pretty afraid to feel lucky. Do No Evil?

Screenshots here:


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3 Comments:

Blogger Skitz said...

Some interesting new developments. First this appeared on slashdot about google doing keyword stuffing and cloaking (the google toolbar is sort of an example of cloaking). The original slashdot article has links to examples of google cloaking and keyword stuffing. There is a followup story on slashdot found here that shows that google corrected the problem.

What is even more interesting is that google recently has acquired , a company that specializes in SEO (search engine optimization).

3:34 PM  
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